Palin: End all federal energy subsidies

posted at 1:33 pm on May 31, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Whether she’s running or not, Sarah Palin will have a big impact on the presidential race — and she demonstrated why today at a stop on her bus tour in Pennsylvania.  Palin told Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics that not only should the US end subsidies for ethanol, but should end subsidies on all energy production, mainly because we can no longer afford to pay them:

Asked Tuesday whether she supports the federal subsidy of ethanol, an always critical issue in the presidential nominating cycle, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin went one step further and called for the elimination of all energy subsidies.

“I think that all of our energy subsidies need to be relooked at today and eliminated,” Palin told RCP during a quick stop at a coffee shop in this picturesque town tucked into the south-central Pennsylvania countryside. “And we need to make sure that we’re investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products right now that aren’t going to necessitate subsidies because, bottom line, we can’t afford it.”

Conroy provides the context for the remarks:

Her emphatic stance against ethanol subsidies may ruffle some feathers in the nation’s first voting state of Iowa, but it will also win her kudos from fiscal conservatives who praised former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty when, in a speech announcing his candidacy in Des Moines, he called for the phasing out of the federal subsidies that cost taxpayers about $5 billion last year.

Mitt Romney, who will announce his candidacy Thursday and is considered the front-runner in the GOP field, said last week in Iowa that he supports ethanol subsidies.

Palin’s position provides a direct rebuke to Romney, who tried to argue that ethanol deserves federal subsidies because it’s an “important part” of America’s energy future.  The problem with that position is that ethanol isn’t an emerging technology.  It’s been subsidized for decades on the same basis Romney claimed last week.  Subsidies aren’t going to R&D any more; they’re being used to artificially allow ethanol to compete against gasoline on a price basis, which puts government in the position of mandating winners and losers in technology and markets — with predictable results.

There could be some argument for federal subsidies in emerging technologies in order to advance to cleaner and cheaper alternatives to fossil fuels — if we had the money to spend on them.  Simply put, we don’t.  We’re now borrowing 40 cents on every dollar spent at the federal level, pushing the US towards a fiscal collapse if we don’t address the problem of overspending and federal overreach.

It will be interesting to see how Palin defines “subsidies.”  Democrats are arguing that oil companies get subsidies through tax deductions that encourage exploration and development, but the “subsidies” in these cases are specific measures that allow oil companies to write off business costs as most other businesses do.  That allows oil companies to keep more of the money they make rather than cutting checks to artificially lower prices to the consumer.

Perhaps Palin or another GOP candidate will propose a compromise closing out some of those tax deductions in exchange for removing barriers to exploration and extraction off American coasts and in shale formations throughout the country. I’d call that a good trade.

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Comment pages: 1 2

TheBlueSite on May 31, 2011 at 4:02 PM

You are grasping at straws dude.

Brian1972 on May 31, 2011 at 4:08 PM

TheBlueSite on May 31, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Whether you realize it or not, you strengthened my argument. If Obama is losing support, that helps Palin.

fossten on May 31, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Former Romney supporter here. Now Sarah-that’s my girl!

Goodale on May 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM

JetBoy on May 31, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Palin is using the Wildcat Offence and her opponents haven’t even discovered the forward pass.

bw222 on May 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM

And we need to make sure that we’re investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products
Those are two separate items.

She doesn’t own an energy business, so one has to assume she meant the govt needs to invest and that the govt also needs to allow businesses to invest.

TheBlueSite on May 31, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Ummm, we (the govt) can invest in business by divesting ourselves of the misbegotten notion that the Govt knows best who wins or loses and unclog the logjam of regs that do nothing but increase the cost of doing business with next to nil effect on whatever it is that Big Brother thinks it is solving.

That particular phrase turns on the idea of whose money are we talking about? To the donks, it is the govt’s money to dispense with and if they need more, they’ll demand more from the taxpayer. For conservatives, it is the people’s money and the notion that if the taxpayer has more of their money, they’ll ‘invest’ their surplus leading to increased tax revenue downstream as that money gets a workout.

Less regs = less govt expenses to ensure compliance, not to mention less business expenses trying to comply with inane regs.

OTH, if it was a quote from Obambi, then yeah, you’d be right about the paradox – just akin to “spending reductions in the tax code”.

AH_C on May 31, 2011 at 4:28 PM

The trolls must work shifts.

It looks like The Blue Site and Hollowhead have this one.

bw222 on May 31, 2011 at 4:29 PM

don’t know if you forgot the sarc tag, but if a business makes an investment in their own company, its not a subsidy.

El_Terrible on May 31, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Way to selectively quote, duder. You should get a job with Media Matters- I hear they appreciate such skill.

“And we need to make sure that we’re investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products right now that aren’t going to necessitate subsidies because, bottom line, we can’t afford it.”

When you’re talking about government policy and say “we” need to “invest” in energy, the implication is that such investment be done by the government in the form of spending taxpayer money.

If she meant otherwise, it’s her fault for phrasing her answer horribly (relook? energy products?), not mine.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 4:29 PM

So, Palin is meeting with Trump tomorrow night. That should drive MSM totally bonkers.

bw222 on May 31, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Palin is using the Wildcat Offence and her opponents haven’t even discovered the forward pass.

bw222 on May 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM

More like throwing a Hail Mary while blindfolded. She throws around disconnected platitudes and hopes that one manages to stick.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM

I hope you’re kidding. So, Americans should buy stock in companies that deal in untested energy sources that might or might not bear fruit? That’s what Palin meant and not govt investment?

TheBlueSite on May 31, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Uhhhhh….can you read? How do you get “untested” from “reliable”? You PDS types are really getting desperate, and it ain’t pretty. You’re making fools of yourselves.

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM

More like throwing a Hail Mary while blindfolded. She throws around disconnected platitudes and hopes that one manages to stick.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM

So do Romney and Pawlenty, but you don’t seem to mind.

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 4:34 PM

More like throwing a Hail Mary while blindfolded. She throws around disconnected platitudes and hopes that one manages to stick.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Please describe how a direct statement (in response to a direct question) about the need to end federal energy subsidies is a “disconnected platitude.”

Missy on May 31, 2011 at 4:35 PM

When you’re talking about government policy and say “we” need to “invest” in energy, the implication is that such investment be done by the government in the form of spending taxpayer money.

If she meant otherwise, it’s her fault for phrasing her answer horribly (relook? energy products?), not mine.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 4:29 PM

It’s her fault that you always interpret the word “investment” to mean “government spending”? Didn’t you ever take an Econ class?

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Please describe how a direct statement (in response to a direct question) about the need to end federal energy subsidies is a “disconnected platitude.”

Missy on May 31, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Because Palin said it, of course. That’s his meme, and dammit, he’s sticking with it.

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Let’s be serious. You think the President has power to do this? End all subsidies? No, they don’t.

Anyone can read an ECON 101 book and understand the inherent flaw with subsidies associated with negative externalities. But there are many more complexities than those discussed.

Every president will have to pander to some special interest group to get elected. That’s a fact.

grosven on May 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM

The trolls must work shifts.

It looks like The Blue Site and Hollowhead have this one.

bw222 on May 31, 2011 at 4:29 PM
That’s what I was thinking. Petunia and cdseven must be
napping waiting for the wake up phone call from the DNC
so they can start the late afternoon/evening/early morning
shift.

Amjean on May 31, 2011 at 4:44 PM

she never gives any interviews to sources that don’t already love her

TheBlueSite on May 31, 2011 at 2:18 PM

As opposed to dozens of Democrat politicians who refuse to go on Fox News period?

Del Dolemonte on May 31, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Let’s be serious. You think the President has power to do this? End all subsidies? No, they don’t.

grosven on May 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM

“I think we need to end subsidies” is not the same as “If I were president I would end subsisdies”. By that logic, Pawlenty’s similarly blowing smoke with his “end ethanol subsidies” remark.

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 4:47 PM

More like throwing a Hail Mary while blindfolded. She throws around disconnected platitudes and hopes that one manages to stick.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM

More closely resembles your post history on hotair.

fossten on May 31, 2011 at 4:48 PM

She will not do a darn thing for special interest groups
unless it is good for the country either fiscally,
morally or defensively. Crony capitalism will be on its
way out. I cannot wait. Actual work will be done in Washington, DC. And if the politicians don’t work hard,
they will find themselves out of the loop.

You had better read her record. She banned lobbyists from
her office in Alaska. She has balls of steel buddy.

Amjean on May 31, 2011 at 4:49 PM

This is the strategy that the PDSers have landed upon: Parse, parse, parse.

They have no real argument against her otherwise.

fossten on May 31, 2011 at 4:50 PM

I hope you’re kidding. So, Americans should buy stock in companies that deal in untested energy sources that might or might not bear fruit? That’s what Palin meant and not govt investment?

Glad she’s not an investment advisor if that’s the case.

TheBlueSite on May 31, 2011 at 4:02 PM

That’s the whole point – if something has merit, then investment money will flow. To wit, the genome sequencing was totally funded by investors and finished ahead of schedule, if Big brother did it, they would first set up the org chart, re-arrange it several times until politically satisfactory, then start working the problem. Problem is, they’d be perpetually 95% complete to this date.

The counter-point to subsidies is that in a free market, the product in question would fail on its own merits. IOW, it is useless and every dollar spent in ‘investing’ is a dollar wasted and a dollar less for the taxpayer to spend on something infinitely more useful to him/her.

The best way for you to figure out this whole economy thing is go to http://jim.com/ and read up on “That Which is Seen, and that Which is Not Seen” by Frederick Bastiat and “The Road To Serfdom” by Hayek

AH_C on May 31, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Please describe how a direct statement (in response to a direct question) about the need to end federal energy subsidies is a “disconnected platitude.”

Missy on May 31, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Because it’s impossible to divine what her statement even means, as evidenced by all the Palinista spinning.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Because it’s impossible to divine what her statement even means, as evidenced by all the Palinista spinning.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Private investment in reliable energy sources. Do you have some sort of learning disability?

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 5:19 PM

It’s her fault that you always interpret the word “investment” to mean “government spending”? Didn’t you ever take an Econ class?

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 4:35 PM

I see- when any other politician says in the course of discussing government policy that “we should invest in” something, they’re referring to spending tax dollars. When Palin says it, it means something else entirely, though nobody really knows what.

When any other politician advocates ending “subsidies” for oil companies, they’re suggesting that tax breaks be eliminated. When Palin says it, she means something else.

Again- it’s not my fault she can’t give coherent answers to questions on the rare occasions she responds to them.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 5:22 PM

For JetBoy

Palin on Afghanistan

Also

https://hrh40.wordpress.com/palin-policy/

SgtSVJones on May 31, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Private investment in reliable energy sources. Do you have some sort of learning disability?

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Read what she said again, sport. She referred to private (business) investment AND that “we” need to invest in energy.

You can try to pretend that she was telling people to buy stock in energy companies, but you won’t look any less ridiculous for it.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 5:26 PM

What part of all energy subsidies being eliminated is unclear?

El_Terrible on May 31, 2011 at 5:28 PM

That position by Palin increases her value in my book tenfold!

GFW on May 31, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Hey look! The poster who thinks remarking on a Palin post is a waste of time, posting again, and again, and again…you just can’t stay away, it’s called obsession…

right2bright on May 31, 2011 at 5:40 PM

More closely resembles your post history on hotair.

fossten on May 31, 2011 at 4:48 PM

goooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllll!!!!!

right2bright on May 31, 2011 at 5:41 PM

They can SPIN all they want – Palin’s honesty in this is just a breath of fresh air for all us “unwashed” out here – and, there’s a lot more of us voting for the next POTUS than there will be elites.

It’s not just the honesty though – it’s the fact that she’s DEAD ON in touch with what people want – we want to QUIT SPENDING … QUIT SPENDING. It’s not that hard a concept but the elites like Mittens are TOO STUPID to comprehend this.

HondaV65 on May 31, 2011 at 5:48 PM

“And we need to make sure that we’re investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products right now that aren’t going to necessitate subsidies because, bottom line, we can’t afford it.”

She says very clearly before this that ALL subsidies should be eliminated.

“Investment” – means simply – DRILL HERE DRILL NOW. She’s not going to PAY the oil companies to drill – she’s going to remove their chains so they can drill and take away the impediments to productive and rapid drilling.

It’s really pretty simple – and it’s really what we are going to have to do.

HondaV65 on May 31, 2011 at 5:52 PM

This is brave but I guess she knows better. Yippe!!!

promachus on May 31, 2011 at 8:02 PM

So, Americans should buy stock in companies that deal in untested energy sources that might or might not bear fruit?
 
TheBlueSite on May 31, 2011 at 4:02 PM

 
I’m not asking to attack or criticize you. I won’t even post a follow up if you are kind enough to reply to my request:
 
Would you mind posting your age?

rogerb on May 31, 2011 at 8:03 PM

End all energy subsidies? A great start.

Throw in the Monsanto support organization known as the USDA, plus the boat anchors of the FDA, EPA, FCC, Education, Labor and Energy, too. Its a joyous feeling to start cutting out the unnecessary junk around the house that is just taking up space to no good purpose, and the describes the deeply meddlesome agencies of the federal government. And yank the Federal Reserve while you’re at it, wouldya? They are inflating my money and making it worthless and have been since they were established.

ajacksonian on May 31, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Read what she said again, sport. She referred to private (business) investment AND that “we” need to invest in energy.

Hollowpoint on May 31, 2011 at 5:26 PM

You read it again, sport. It’s not her fault that you don’t know what “investment” means. Just because Clinton and the Democrats used it as code for “government spending” doesn’t mean that’s what it’s become officially in the lexicon.

As I said, you seemed to be thrilled when Pawlenty changed his attitude on ethanol. Palin goes one better and says to end all energy subsidies and suddenly your knickers are in a parsing twist. Weird. Sport.

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 9:14 PM

There’s finally someone who has the nads to give the MSM fits and wouldn’t you know it the public thinks it’s awful. The lazy loony left just can’t understand why their demands are ignored. They think this is terrible and it is for them because it’s beyond their intelligence to understand their own ignorance.

mixplix on May 31, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Just to be clear:
We need to make certain that “ALL” subsidies includes the billions pi$$ed away annually on wind and solar as well as the ridiculous battery schemes to make them “reliable”.

mad scientist on May 31, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Heh. “As well.”. Pawlenty led first, by example. It should read, “good for Palin for following T-Paw”.

Vyce on May 31, 2011 at 2:38 PM

T-Paw reversed his earlier statements and actions when he stated that ethanol subsidies should be phased out…

Gohawgs on June 1, 2011 at 1:17 AM

SP is coming to DC armed with pinkslips

Sonosam on June 1, 2011 at 1:19 AM

so one has to assume…

TheBlueSite on May 31, 2011 at 3:54 PM

And, we all know what happens when one assumes…

Gohawgs on June 1, 2011 at 1:23 AM

The government, aka my tax-dollars, should not subsidize SQUAT. Stop it all.

tx2654 on June 1, 2011 at 1:27 AM

Where’s petunia?…

Gohawgs on June 1, 2011 at 1:29 AM

T-Paw reversed his earlier statements and actions when he stated that ethanol subsidies should be phased out…

Gohawgs on June 1, 2011 at 1:17 AM

That’s a round about way of saying that T-Paw is flip flopping on the issue of ethanol subsidies.

Just as he was for Cap and trade before he was against it, he was in support of ethanol subsidies before he was against it.

Conservative Samizdat on June 1, 2011 at 1:57 AM

Yep, CS…

Don’t know if he’s reached MA status quite yet, though…

Gohawgs on June 1, 2011 at 4:00 AM

The brickbat which the media will use against Palin on this topic is her willingness, as GovAK, to accept federal energy subsidies. The meme has been repeated enough to be infused as fact in the weak minds, that tax cuts equal subsidies, never mind that the federal goverment receives five times more revenue in taxes from a gallon of gas than the oil company, and three times more than the local gas station.

Which other public figure is telling this clear a truth about any issue, without quibble or equivocation, even when it will surely hurt them with some locations?

Freelancer on June 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Yep, CS…

Don’t know if he’s reached MA status quite yet, though…

Gohawgs on June 1, 2011 at 4:00 AM

The funny thing that bothers me is that Allahpundit and Ed Morrisey are praising him for flip flopping because they’ve
bought into T-Paw’s false portrayal of himself as a politician who is the speaker of hard truths.

Yet, they heap scorn on Mitt Romney for being consistent in his support for ethanol subsidies. He didn’t flip flop on that issue. People may not like his support for ethanol subsidies and they would be justified in criticizing him for supporting it. But he didn’t flip flop on it.

Conservative Samizdat on June 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM

CS,

It may have something to do with Ed secretly wanting to be his home State former Gov.’s Press Secty if T-Paw reaches the WH…/

AP is may not have discerned a pattern in T-Paw’s reversals on Man Made global warming, Cap & Tax, his 2004 sharia compliant home ownership program followed by him “killing” it in 2011, etc…

Gohawgs on June 1, 2011 at 4:11 PM

CS,

It may have something to do with Ed secretly wanting to be his home State former Gov.’s Press Secty if T-Paw reaches the WH…/

AP is may not have discerned a pattern in T-Paw’s reversals on Man Made global warming, Cap & Tax, his 2004 sharia compliant home ownership program followed by him “killing” it in 2011, etc…

Gohawgs on June 1, 2011 at 4:11 PM

It amazing that people don’t see how much of a flip flopper Tim Pawlenty is.

Conservative Samizdat on June 2, 2011 at 2:59 AM

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